Munich day

Trip Start Nov 20, 2012
Trip End Dec 25, 2012

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Flag of Germany  , Bavaria,
Monday, December 10, 2012

Another snowy cold wake up in Salzburg.-2 degrees and a depth of approx 10cm of snow all around. Mayhem on footpaths as mini snow scrapers do their best as quickly as possible.. The pure white soon turns to brown slurry as more and more commute over it.. Loved the window sills to leave handprints etc though..haha
Onto the last train trip on this journey.. Munich bound.. a smooth two hours in the warmth admiring the vast white scenery.. looks magical but the few locals seen scraping / clearing  their roads, footpaths, cars would probably disagree" All snowed in " comes to mind as we see no sign of children/ animals etc.
Munich's greeting was one of blustery, large snowflakes swirling everywhere. the 10 minutes walk from the station to Hotel Wallis was far enough.. armed ith all the winter weather gear it is soon time to set off nd see how far one could walk/ survive in the -4 to 2 degrees expected today. The people of Munich don' t seem fazed by the snow.. very few umbrellas .. just coats ( big ones!!) the snow seems to brush off with no concerns with being wet!
Munich is the capital and the largest city of the German state of Bavaria It is believed to have been founded in 1158 and granted official city status in 1175.. so there is a lot of history within it. It is located on the River Isar north of the Bavarian Alps.. and the Austrian Alps/ border too.. Munich is the third largest city in Germany, behind Berlin and Hamburg  About 1.42 million people live within the city... and most of them seemed to be in the city centre area of Marienplatz.  The square is dominated by the New Town Hall (Neues Rathaus). The monumental, 79 meters high town hall in Gothic style, was built between 1867 and 1909 .At 11, 12 and 17 o'clock each visitors can watch  the famous Glockenspiel .. the figures perform a dance, which was originally performed in 1517 at the Marienplatz to commemorate the end of the plague.These days people "dance" around each other as they try to avoid all the other shoppers / tourists etc as they all vie for space. The streets are paved with 100's of stores , restaurants, cafes etc.
Within  a short stroll is the  beer hall "Hofbrauhaus"..Touristy, but fun, with good beer and "oom-pah" bands. The Hofbršuhaus, Munich's (and maybe the world's) most famous brewpub, moved to its current location in 1644. It opened to the public after 1830. Nowadays, the embodiment of Bavarian beer culture is visited only by tourists and the occasional  "co-operative bavarian " complete with beard/ hat and a desire to meet new friends with drinks to shout...
And they had the best apple strudel !!!

Max-Joseph-Platz is one of the most impressive squares in Munich (circa 1820), with a large monument dedicated to Maximilian 1, the first king of Bavaria, It is also bordered by grand buildings ...The Residenz Palace.. the southern section built in 1826-1835 ,modeled after the Palazzo Pitti in Florence .
 The Palais an der Operas (circa early 1800s) started as a  Palace, then it became the main Munich postoffice in 1839  till 2009 was converted into a multifunctional complex known as the Palais an der Operas...  
The highlight of the Max-Joseph-Platz is the National theater, Munich's grand opera house. The opera house was built between 1811-1818 The theater building was destroyed in 1943 during an allied air raid and rebuilt once again in 1958-1963.  The plush circular auditorium has five tiers with seating for more than 2000 people.
With enough culture for the day , it was time to seek out the "Xmas markets" ,.. several around the town centre , over 25 in Munich city itself.. one at the Marienplatz, the oldest (records back to the 14th century)and  is a hive of activity.. mixed in with the hundreds of retail stores, mega department stores and restaurants galore it has one entranced with the Xmas glee once more. A walkable distance away is the Medieval themed Xmas markets..where everything is medieval.. the stands , the vendors clothing ,the wares for sale..lots of hand made belts, bags, bow & arrows, all things wooden and handmade. one feels as though you have been sent back in time.. what fun!
Last to be seen and enjoyed is the ice skating rink at the start of the retail area..
Munich's  largest out door skating rink is enjoyed by many.. the skaters, the spectators .. who also enjoy the mulled wines and traditional foods from the surrounding stalls..
All in all , a wonderful introduction to Munich, Winter Snow & Christmas Fare!!
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